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to get a deal done so that i don't have to keep boring people with this term fiscal cliff? >> right. to really get the deal done right you need about 4 troll trillion to get us back on track. that means pro-growth tax reform, entitlement reform and better control of savings of the proposals at this point are not at that level. they're more $2.5 trillion range. we're very anxious to see what the president will put forward in terms of savings and reform. adam: in roughly four days can all of you in washington get this deal done? or is it going to be some kind of a patch with some kind of delay and than we'll deal with the new congress deals with it? >> well, adam i think you're kind of on it there. it would be great if we can get it done. if not let's at least get the framework to set it up and finish it off right away. either way we have to get a deal done before congress gets adjourned or get a deal done in the new congress. there is enough proposals put forward. get the deal we need to get things on track. adam: we should point out i think senator scott brown out of massachusetts l
're going over the cliff. it's hard to tell. the expectation, even if we go over the fiscal cliff. right now, congress is still looking at trying to resolve this here in the next few days. so it's not as if we go over the cliff and stay there. there would be time to resolve the issue. that being said, we saw a whirlwind of negotiating on capitol hill. and right now, after things sort of didn't work out between mitch mcconnle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. keeping harry reid abreast of what's going on and keeping president obama abreast of what's going on. we heard from senator reid yesterday that they are very far apart. not just talking on the threshold, initially president obama said $250 mi,000. there is talk to bumping that to $400,000. republicans want to know how we pay for it. there are farm subsidies, the doc fix. and spending cuts. so there is a lot to be reso
. >> with that perspective, how did the country get to the situation that we are in right now, not just the fiscal cliff but the debate over the deficit and the debt that is behind this? >> well, if you go back to 2001 and thereafter, the cost of the war was not included in the budget except the military and the defense budget. but the additional costs were not reflected in the budget. there were always supplementals. so they didn't show as a deficit. a vendor ackley to the debt. so while the budgets were reasonable in that period of time, the actual spending didn't show in the budget and people didn't pay as much attention to the debt as they do today because it kept mounting and so we borrowed to pay for the war and in fact we didn't ask people to make sacrifices financially. >> there is a difference between borrowing in the future, paying for work and paying back words, we are having to pay right now. people might have felt differently if they had felt the pinch right at that time. we would have asked different questions and were asked, and i think that is one of the reasons we got where we are. and
minute talks to avoid the fiscal cliff. barbara boxer is talking right there on the senate floor of the house and senate both in rare new year's eve sessions today ahead of the deadline that triggers across the board tax hikes with dramatic cuts in military and domestic spending. joining us now bob cusack the manage evening editor of the hill the. great to have you here today. >> great to be here. >> many americans are frustrated that congress has taken us to the brink once again with little or no progress. what are you hearing at this moment? is there progress at this time? >> well, we are hearing that there has been progress between vice president biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. still we are nearly 12 hours from the cliff. we don't have a bill. there has actually been a stunning lack of urgency on cant toll hill. on the default showdown, the government shut down there was more urgency. here there just isn't that urgency, maybe because the markets haven't been the roller coaster we thought they would be. eventually people will see less money in their paychecks
spending pulse saying it actually not the fiscal cliff, it was superstorm sandy. >> right. adam: at the end. day are consumers pulling back? doesn't matter if it was the storm or fear they're pulling back, right. >> that was a real good point you made. mastercard said this these numbers were becoming a concern for the consumer back in october. the national retail federation had projected holiday sales would go up about 4.1%. adam: yep. >> that is some growth but it is nowhere near the 5.6% we saw lt year. there is a little bit of a slowdown. also we have to look at the consumer sentiment numbers. it is coming in at the month of december around 72 points. that is 10 points less than at its high in july. so we're definitely seeing that consumer slowdown happen even way before the fourth quarter. adam: you're with therf. you're with the national retail federation, are you not. >> no. i'm an independent analyst. adam: excuse me. a lot of people like the nrf but what are the repercussions whether for the nrf or anybody? nrf, they're sticking to it. they're not revising their predictions. shopper
, not just right now with the fiscal cliff, but in the new year when a whole host of other issues come to visit us. so, with the new year just days away but the change of the calendar year comes lots of changes in state laws. here's what we're going to be looking at, here's a look at what will be legal and illegal in the new year. >> well, alison, some laws made headlines. gay marriage was passed in maryland and maine and the recreational use of marijuana was passed in colorado and washington state. wait, there's more. much more. let's start with the laws that take effect on january 1st. so, in illinois and california, employers may no longer force their employees to post their accounts. speaking of job seekers, let's check out oregon. employers are not allowed to advertise a job listing in that state unless they are willing to hire the unemployed. in iowa, arsenic is banned in chicken feed. in california, this one made headlines, too. that state is now banning the treatment aimed at changing the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18. and on the othlighter side, a n law in i
's all because of the worries about the fiscal cliff. suzanne. >> all right. let's just listen in, and i'll bring you back for a bit. ♪ >> all right. there you go. allison, i want to bring you back for a couple quick questions here. we know the stocks are down, fiscal cliff. talk about what we think that means for us if we end up going over the fiscal cliff and you're looking at a lot of tax hikes as well as spending cuts. >> yeah. you have to believe if we go over the cliff that some sort of deal will happen up. if not within the first couple days of year, maybe the first couple weeks. what may happen is an impact right away to your paychecks in the early weeks of the new year. here is an idea of what we're in for anyway. we're going to see a lot of tax changes. payroll tax holiday. that would expire, and that means that the amount taken out of your paycheck would go from 4.2% to 6.2%, so that means if you're making $50,000 a year, it means $83 a month comes out of your paycheck. over the cliff it means you have a delay in tax refunds for the 2012 returns and that's because there's ye
that help the fiscal cliff we are in right now? second question, with our history of wasting so much taxpayer dollars everywhere we thisn this fashion, isn't why we don't get much help from our allies when we go to war, because they know the end result? that they would be wasting money as well. they probably know this from colonial times. thank you. pinkberrry is a certain amount of waste in any war. -- i think there is. i spoke with a very smart colonel in kohst province. he said the american people don't expect us to be proficient, but they do expect us to be effective. i thought that was a great way of thinking about. the question me after have is, given the amount of money being spent in blood and treasure, and has been the outcome? to the second part of the question, do our allies know we waste a lot of money and so that why they're not so forthcoming, the stories that i hear back to do with the they know we will pick up the tab, so they dodge as long as they can. a recurring theme is we want it more than they do, whether it be the taliban -- or the afghans your working with on
, could we possibly be on the verge of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff? you are looking live right now at the white house. that's where something big is going to be going on. just about seven hours from now, it will be the sight of a high stakes meeting with president obama and the leaders of congress. and to weigh in on this is doug, live in washington more details. >> good morning. they're going to be talking today and maybe that in and of itself is something of an achievement. issues will be on the table in that room in the white house as they all gather around and one of the items that's being discussed here in washington, believe it or not, is the price of milk. more on that in just a moment. but the president did, in fact, return early from his vacation in hawaii yesterday. he is coming back for this big meeting at the white house. we don't know if there is a new white house strategy here or if there is going to a new offer from the president, but many republicans are not terribly hopeful. >> any time you announce a meeting publicly in washington, it's usually for political theat
vacation for the hard reality of the fiscal cliff negotiations. the president called all four congressional leaders last night in an effort to reach a deal, but did that call fall on deaf ears? jared bernstein, former chief economist to vip biden, as well as a contributor. i want to start with the new statement from senator mitch mcconnell's office coming out says last night he called other lead serious. the leader is happy to review what the president has in mind, but to day date the majority has not put forward a plan. jared, is that good they're actually speaking, however far apart as it may sound, at least they're talking? >> it's a bit good. better to be talking than north. the unfortunate thing are the words they're saying. i don't hear much compromise or kind of conciliation in the statements we've heard thus far. i do hear a lot of theatrics, you go first, no you go first. it's strange to say the democrats haven't put forth any legislation on this, because in fact they have. in fact, a democratic majority in the senate passed a bill that's pretty similar to the compromise that the p
this fiscal cliff is really all about. we're talking about automatic tax cuts that will go into place as well as drastic, draconian cuts in entitlement programs, medicare, and even the military. the military can suffer very greatly if this goes through the sequestration. if you look at all this, you realize something has got to be done, because $2,000 per average taxpayer will be added to them over the course of this year if they fail to do something, what is going to happen? what is your prediction, brad? >> well, my prediction is, that we're likely to go over the cliff because the president also knows, kelly, in 2013 any deal made then can be retroactive to january 1st. so the draconian cuts we're talking about can be wiped away with the stroke of a pen should a deal be made. i believe the president believes he is in stronger position if he deal doesn't go through now because he believes he will have better leverage in january. kelly: sear lena? >> he has better leverage i agree with brad about that. he can come to congress after january 1 and pass tax cuts only for those making under $250,
republicans. and this is problematic obviously because in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, you would need to find some sort of deal that would make it through the senate and the house and that would need democratic and republican support. now, all eyes on the senate because they will reconvene on the 27th, thursday. and senate majority leader harry reid, it is up to him, really, to cobble together something that can get some of that support. right now the white house is still supporting a threshold of $250,000 back to their initial starting point for tax rates going up for those making more than that. but you can imagine, hala, that's going to be very hard for some republicans, maybe even some democrats to sign on to. >> right. and for just about a week ago, it was common to hear a deal will be hammered out. over the last several days we're hearing more and more that potentially this is a reality for americans in eight days' time. your sources in the administration, is there a real concern among some of the people you're speaking with that indeed this fiscal cliff will become a reality? >
towards a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. we know that about eight hours from now right at three o'clock here in d.c., senator mitch mcconnell and senator harry reid, the principal negotiators from the senate are going to is sit with senators from their parties down and tell them the numbers they've agreed should be in the deal and if those meetings go well, they might be able to vote tomorrow in the senate, tomorrow afternoon. the house of representatives though would then need to support it, too, before it can become a law and we heard last night a little bit of what republicans there are worried about at this stage. >> it's about making sure that we can live within our means and address the real problem and that's spending. i kind of feel like i'm a lifeguard and we've got to save as many people from drowning in higher taxes that we can. >> reporter: one of the big sticking points so far has been the income threshold for tax increases, basically trying to figure out who should be classified as wealthy and who should count as middle class. president obama wanted $250,000 per hou
in washington and not just right now for the immediate problem, the fiscal cliff, but when we have the debt ceiling issue coming up the spending is going to be the issue that needs to ab dressed. >> i'm sorry. we have to leave it there. i apologize. a busy day. busy new year's eve. surprising or maybe not for many. we've been watching what is happening in washington, d.c. my thanks to all of you. hillary clinton hospitalized for a blood clot. but there is also good news for the secretary of state and it could mean something for 2016. but before we get to 2016, we need to finish this year, right? lots of people already gathering at times square to celebrate the new year. sorry. sore knee. blast of cold feels nice. why don't you use bengay zero degrees? it's the one you store in the freezer. same medicated pain reliever used by physical therapists. that's chilly. [ male announcer ] new bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on. >>> about 12 1/2 hours and counting now until we could fall off the so-called fiscal cliff. the house and senate are both in session. there are reports of progress in re
to head back to washington and jump-start the fiscal cliff negotiations with congress. talks fell apart before christmas. the deadline now is just days away and there is no deal in sight to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect january 1st. our juan williams is a fox news political analyst and he joins us today and very quickly, juan, merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas, kelly. kelly: this is daunting task facing congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that will set into motion more than $600 billion in drastic and draconian allic tax hikes and spending cuts. that will cause a lot of pain for all americans and does congress have enough time to act on this? >> they do. you know it will be very close and it may in fact go beyond the deadline per se although people are thinking at the moment it is possible to get something done by the end of this week. the key here, kelly, is the senate. we have been so focused on the house, speaker boehner, plan. about, plan b falling apart. now speaker boehner is pointing towards the senate and the white house is pointin
with revenues are risking the fiscal cliff and make no mistake about it. if we go over, god forbid and i still don't think we have to, the american people are going to blame the republican party and they'll come right back and pass something. so i don't think the middle class is at risk. if we go over the cliff, our reamian colleagues will come back and go uh-oh and pass the bill we passed in senate already. >> can chuck hagel become secretary of defense if he's the president's nominee? >> a lot of republicans have asked hard questions. i don't think he's going to get many republicans votes. i like chuck but his positions are really out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. i think it would be a challenging nominations but the hearings will matter. chuck will have a chance to defend himself. >> will you support him? >> i'm going to wait and see what happens in the hearings. i've got questions with chuck and iran, hamas and hezbollah, his position toward israel, just afghanistan. i want to hear what he has to say. but very troubling comments by a future secretary of defense.
. >> it was -- it was improvisation that you know, maybe only democrats could love. >> susan? >> i'd say the fiscal cliff fight because it's keeping the media pack on capitol hill completely entertained with dualing press conferences and back and forth negotiations. every single day. it's definitely a lot of kabuki theater right now and very little substance? >> clarence? >> i think you're right about that but my big theater of the year was watching president obama and chris christie there at hurricane sandy. it was -- pivotal political moment this year. most memorable scene and for a country looking for people who can work together across party lines it was a new symbol. >> and ruinous for whom? >> i don't think it's ruinous for christie at all. >> no, no. not christie. ruin the romney. >> oh for sure. >> romney was nowhere to be seen and he had been -- he had the big mo going in. best political theater u. n. ambassador susan rice spinning the benghazi attack. she ended the soap opera with letter withdrawing from her petition for the united states. >> that's the worst? worst is my friend clint eastwood. in th
now. what else is at stake in the fiscal cliff? let's look at some other issues, things that we're not sure will be in a deal that comes out this week. at the top of that list, government spending cuts. that's about 8% to 10% in cuts to most every federal agency. also a pay cut for medicare doctors of 27% that would hit after january 1st. finally, don, there are a slew of other tax hikes. the alternative minimum tax is one that people talk about. the estate tax. these are all things that would affect average americans and which would hit on january 1st. so the fiscal cliff, it might be even bigger than people realize. don? >> lisa, thank you very much. >>> we've got a lot more planned for you this saturday night. here's what else is ahead. as our lawmakers wrestle with u.s. gun violence, chicago hits an awful milestone. 500 murders this year and counting. what's to blame? a former gang member and chicago's police superintendent join me live. >>> plus, president obama could tap this republican to lead the defense department. but not everyone wants to see a secretary hagel. why so
and democrats, we understand, are talking about right now. what else is at stake in the fiscal cliff? let's look at some other issues, things that we're not sure will be in a deal that comes out this week. at the top of that list, government spending cuts. that's about 8% to 10% in cuts to most every federal agency. also a pay cut for medicare doctors of 27% that would hit after january 1st. finally, don, there are a slew of other tax hikes. the alternative minimum tax is one that people talk about. the estate tax. these are all things that would affect average americans and which would hit on january 1st. so the fiscal cliff, it might be even bigger than people realize. don? >> lisa, thank you very much. >>> we've got a lot more planned for you this saturday night. here's what else is ahead. as our lawmakers wrestle with u.s. gun violence, chicago hits an awful milestone. 500 murders this year and counting. what's to blame? a former gang member and chicago's police superintendent join me live. >>> plus, president obama could tap this republican to lead the defense department. but not everyone w
and make america number one. host: do you think america's working together right now in this fiscal cliff negotiant that is causing friction in washington? caller: absolutely, it is so beautiful to see. they are doing their best. i am not there in the party, but i want to read about the differences, why america is america, and why not it is not -- why it is not other countries. i have lived in other countries for months and years. i make plans for education in 2001 for the dutch government. i always follow something for inspiration. i saw last time that the democrats and republicans, the parties, they are working so good together to make something happen. host: you think the fiscal cliff debate is a good sign for the country? caller: absolutely, it is a good sign for the country. you know, america does not need money. america is money. america needs jobs. what kind of jobs? american jobs. what is on american jobs? to do the best and to bring the best things. that is the mayor, -- the america that i see. i seek some unity. i travel around the world. i see some the young americans everywher
reid and mcconnell, they just met, but now they're saying, it wasn't about the fiscal cliff. what else is there to talk about? >> reporter: no. i think we know exactly what their new year's eve plans will be, we're going to be right here. senator reid himself said that they did not discuss that. and it seems to be that that is an indication, at least to republicans here on capitol hill, that it is the president's move next to make more clear what jessica is talking about. that the president has said publicly, he wants to do as kind of that stopgap, scaled down version. in fact, mitch mcconnell himself said in the hallway, just moments ago, that he does expect to go to the white house, as jessica just alluded to. he expects to do that tomorrow. they haven't gotten a formal invitation tomorrow. there's no time set for this meeting tomorrow, but mitch mcconnell says he does expect to go. and so that really does speak to the next move, tomorrow. >> well, that is good news. that is good news, senator mcconnell going to the white house tomorrow, hopefully. but i'm going to ask you about the
mitchell reports," six days till the new year, and there's no bipartisan deal to avert the fiscal cliff in sight. the president is cutting his vacation short, but the house is still in recess with no immediate plans to return. the ball is now in senate democrat's court and
in a few minutes. >>> right now, we want to turn to the fiscal cliff negotiations in washington. this morning there is cautious optimism from both sides that a deal of some sort can be reached. kristin welker is at the white house with the latest. good morning. >> reporter: erica, good morning to you. the focus is on the senate this saturday morning as majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell try to cobble together a last-minute plan. meanwhile, on friday president obama said america's patience has almost run out. with steep tax hikes and deep spending cuts looming, president obama used the power of his office to turn up the pressure on congress, making a quickly arranged appearance in the white house briefing room friday. >> the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. i'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. >> reporter: the president repeatedly tapping into the public's frustration to bolster his argument. >> the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound. ordinary folks, they too thei
try to cobble together a last minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. this on the heels of the meeting that happened at the white house. and top congressional leaders met for about an hour. source who's have knowledge say the president laid out two options for lawmakers, one, either come up with a plan that can pass through both chambers to avoid that deadline or allow his pro poisal to go up for a vote in both chambers. under his plan, bush-era tax cuts would be extended for those making $240,000 or less and rates for top income earners. something that a lot of republicans do like and it would call for extending unemployment insurance benefits and a number of other measures. that's where things stand right now. but as you point out, t.j., only three days left, and the pressure could not be more intense. if we do over g. ovgo over the cliff, the average american will see taxes go up by $2,000. majority leader reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell working together to get a plan that can make it through both chambers. >> is there much of a strategy from the white house? put it in the
to you. >> all right, maria. thank you very much. >>> with just four days left to avoid the fiscal cliff, congressional leaders heading to the white house this afternoon for key talks with president obama. nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell has more. kelly, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, willie. the top two democrats and republicans from the house and senate will sit down with the president middle of the afternoon. but we should tell you that behind the scenes the most senior staffers who have been given the task of negotiating have continued their conversations looking for ways to try to bring a deal together. while the elected officials know they need to be more visible. >> mr. speaker, we ought to be here working, addressing these challenges. >> reporter: under pressure to show up, even if there is no deal to consider, congress will work this holiday weekend. the deadline is so close, outgoing members have already packed up their offices and need to move out while the harsh tone is going nowhere. >> the american people, i don't think understand the house of rep
. as soon as we get through the fiscal cliff -- the hope is we would replace the fiscal cliff with real policies that would keep us from going over it. now looks as though we're not going to be able to do anything to tackle the challenges right now. the partisan environment is getting worse and worse. that leaves us with questions about whether these guys can govern. host: front page of "the new york times." let me read a few points. "more difficult to reach a compromise." guest: that is absolutely true. i feel we're watching a game of finger-pointing and not much else. both sides are pointing fingers and shouting it is the other guy's fault. what if any other business environment worked this way instead of solving the problems and working together? the toxic environment calls into question when we of challenges or other important issues -- can the american political system step up and deal with it? the answer is not very well. we feel saddened and disappointed by our ability to rise to the challenge of fixing the problems. host: some of that is aimed at you. you come up in this column
right. the other day he said with regard to the fiscal cliff, you guys have to look at what's best for the country. i thought he is speaking to the issue of people who don't like him. it surprised me the response from people on the far right -- obama is so egotistical and he has become so arrogant that he thinks it is about him. yes, some people are constantly deriding this guy and have a personal. i did not think it was inappropriate for him to pointed out. host: dependent line, arlington, texas -- caller: white isn't anybody pointing out the social security problem we have is that democrats and republicans have both spent all the money that was supposed to be allocated to it. that is part of our debt but all of the politicians have spent all that money including the president, of course. nobody really brings that up. secondly, on the budget, why doesn't anybody really give the facts about how much $1 trillion is and how much is $16 trillion. ? it is such a large amount of money, we keep pushing it to the side. guest: is a good point, people understand how big this is. it is hard
one week left before the country goes over the fiscal cliff. your taxes will soar if congress and the president can't reach a deal. so steve is live for us in washington with the very latest. all right, good morning to you, steve. >> good morning, gretchen. yeah, the house as you know, tried and failed to pass some kind of a compromise on that fiscal cliff. now the spotlight falls on the u.s. senate. some kind of deal could have a better chance there because the senate is not as bitterly divided as the house. success depends partly on whether mitch mcconnell decides to filibuster any legislation. there is senate republicans who are willing to compromise in order to avoid the fiscal cliff. including kay bailey hutchison of texas and johnny isakson of georgia. >> time is running out. and the truth of the matter is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president's maturitied, he'll come back, propose just what he proposed yesterday in leaving washington and we'll end up adopting it. why should we put the markets mn such turmoil and the people in misunderstanding or lack of confi
$250,000. >> you're right. we're talking about three things when we talk about the fiscal cliff. one is the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 that the democrats claim they want to protect for most americans. they all voted against them. they didn't want them in the first place, but now they recognize how terribly important they are, they claim. for two full years, all of 2009 and all of 2010, obama was president. you had a super majority of democrats in the house and the senate. they could have passed making permanent those tax cuts for l all, some americans, people making less than $250,000 a year, they could have done that. they didn't. why do you believe the democrats really want to do something they no longer have the votes to do when they could have done it when they had the votes. that's one part of the fiscal cliff. the other part is the sequester, which saves money. the president wants to end that. and the third part is $1 trillion in obama's taxes. that's the obama care taxes they hid from you because they're all scheduled to come in after he got safely elected. >> let's go b
in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, yeah, i would be. you know, i think it is remarkable that right after the election we get this thing that comes right up in our faces that basically outlines in bold relief the differences in the two ideas about how we go forward in this country. it is really excellent timing, and we may have to go over the cliff, if it is forced into it. but this idea that you bring down the cost of medicare by making it unavailable to more people is a terrible idea of mr. boehner's. the idea -- i would be terribly upset, along with many of my friends, if obama compromised too much on what needs to happen that is called the fiscal cliff. >> do you think a prominent third-party would help our country? >> i felt strongly about that when i supported john anderson in 1979. he was -- a large part of anderson's campaign was to sue the state ballot procedure into allowing third parties to have more access to the electoral process. i would like to see a third party available, but that, too, seems like a really tall order. >> what do you think is the appropriat
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